The Meeting That Won’t Stop Growing in Attendees
There is a phenomena I’ve been trying to figure out, one where a meeting starts with a few key people and as the weeks press on, the number of attendees exponentially increases.
Actually, it’s not that difficult to understand. The next time you have to go to a meeting, look around. How many people actually contribute?
Even if there are some that do voice an opinion, there’s no responsibility thereafter. Show up, sound more intelligent than the guy next to you, and you my friend just tried to establish your worth.
So how do you define these meeting crashers? You know, the people who seem to attend meetings as a hobby.
Well, if a person happens to follow all items listed below, chances are they really don’t need to be there.
1. Sign-in Sheets are a Priority
If they are scrambling for the sign-in sheet like it’s crack cocaine, they probably aren’t really contributing. This is the first tell-tale sign that the meeting’s purpose is to justify their day. If they are at the meeting, they are obviously working, right?
2. Never Tardy
Getting to the conference room 10 to 15 minutes isn’t uncommon for the meeting crasher. They don’t have much to do, so why not kill time before the meeting! Careful if you happen to be the first real meeting attendee, there’s a good chance you’ll be questioned on your personal life. Stay clear.
3. Note Taking is out of the Question
Note taking would mean contribution. Meeting crashers have no intent on resolving the issue (the whole purpose of meetings). As long as they can browse the meeting minutes and chuck it as they leave, they will keep coming back.
4. Silence or Opinions without Follow-up
Opinions are worse than silence. At least if the person is silent, the rest of the attendees can be productive. A crasher is constantly chiming in with opinions/concerns that they will never address. This is your chance to call them out.
So there you have it, a quick list that identifies the not so key players of the meeting. The problem is, these unproductive attendees share their secrets with their other unproductive friends. The next thing you know, the meeting just doubled in size.